Mobile JSF limitations and Reality and .Mobi Standards

Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Purpose of this article is to describe the Mobile JSF findings and realities. Its actually a software engineers point of view who used this kit recently.

Ericsson company has come up with the Mobile JSF Kit.

Its freaking the whole mobile web and even DotMobi (mobile web standards are maintained by it).
And this things is also appriciated from dotmobi because its propse what others don't.

The Ericsson Mobile JSF Kit provides a JSF library, MobileFaces. It abstracts the difficulties in the development of mobile applications, and enables rendering of different page content for different end devices based on one JSF page. Because of this, MobileFaces can highly reduce the amount of time needed for mobile application development, maintenance and extension.

Here are my findings.

This kits renders markup according to client device in a very fast speed and its the real shiny quality of this kit.

Problem of this render kit it that, using this kit you can't get rating to 5 for a mobile site. Second there is an encoding issue in it and it used "ISO-8859-1", which is not supported by almost every mobile handset and don't render pages generated through this kit.

For device detection it used device.xml which contains the User-Agents of the devices for which its rendering will work. E.g weather a device is desktop machine, smart phone or a WML mobile. Its the biggest flaw in this implemenatation, a developer of such a multi-platfrom enviornment don't remember the User-Agents of every client device out there in market (there are billions of them) and can't put their information in this device.xml so that this system can identify which render scheme is to used for a particular device.
It also don't have any way to use the industry standard device-detection sources like WURFL or Device_Atlas.

Now something about mobile faces, well its nothing. I repeat its nothing its just a fake statement to capture the attention of the developers.

The faces which is called mobile faces is actually standard JSF, This faces is not what it is suppoed to do. It only sets your doctype, head and body tags for your markup, remaining it uses the JSF standard components. One other interesting thing as both XHTML-MP and HTML are alike, they are very sensibaly using these tags to alternate the basic out put for both XHTML-MP and HTML. And use render kit when a WML device is detected.

So in short this Mobile JSF can't be used on large scales but erricson can do one thing, they can produce a render kit which transforms standard XHTML-MP or to WML. So that mobile web developers only focus on dotmobi standards and rest is handeled through device detection ways and this render kit.


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